Not Sure If You’re Grinding Your Teeth? Look Out for these 4 Symptoms

Bruxism, the formal term for grinding or clenching of teeth, is a very common dental problem for many patients. While clenching or grinding your teeth may not seem like a problem, the truth is that the forces exerted by the teeth on one another can have serious negative side effects. If you aren’t sure whether or not you are a “bruxer,” here are 4 simple signs to look out for that may indicate you have a tooth grinding problem.

You Are Told That You Grind Your Teeth

One of the most common ways people discover their grinding habit is by being told about it by a significant other, since they usually share a bed. Most grinding and clenching is done at night, and can often produce audible sounds that awaken your partner. He or she may be the first person to notice your grinding.

Your Teeth Are Showing Signs of Wear

People who continuously grind their teeth often have premature wear or erosion of the teeth. This condition is relatively easy to identify with a quick self-exam in the mirror. If your front teeth have sharp or jagged edges, chances are you are grinding your teeth. The back teeth often show small craters known as “wear facets” in people who are habitual grinders. Finally, seeing small, shallow cracks on the outside surfaces of your teeth may indicate that they are being subjected to undue forces from bruxism.

Your Bite Feels Wrong

Sometimes, bruxism can be so severe that it alters the shape or position of a tooth (or teeth) to the point that the teeth no longer fit together properly. If you have notice a change in your bite pattern, it is plausible that bruxism could be to blame.

You Have Pain or Soreness in Your Jaw Joint

People with bruxism often have TMJ problems including pain and soreness when opening wide or chewing food. This is due to the work overload the joint experiences during prolonged episodes of grinding.

Fortunately, there are ways to deal with the negative side effects of bruxism, from dental night guards to orthodontics and even prescription medication in some cases. If you have noticed any of these symptoms, talk to your dentist to find out if you are a bruxer and how you can protect your teeth from these excessive forces.

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Ivan is a Dental School student on his way to become a Prosthodontist. Originally from Bulgaria, Ivan speaks 3 languages.

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